After entering business for himself with a trucking company at age 19, Outlaw Racing Street Car Association (ORSCA) founder and president Johnny Fenn claims he’s “never really had a real job.”  Now, in addition to his ORSCA duties, Fenn owns and operates Creative Wood Designs, a Monroe, GA-based custom cabinetry business, as well as Inman Park Granite, a company that imports and prepares granite for use in custom kitchen installations. After harboring an interest in fast street cars since his high school days, Fenn says the Outlaw 10.5 class caught his attention in the early 1990s at a back-country eighth-miler near Macon, GA. “I was just there as a spectator, a fence leaner,”  he says, “and I was really drawn to the street car look of the Outlaws. Growing up near Commerce (Atlanta Dragway) I was used to the NHRA and the bracket racers there where you’d see a hundred cars covered in stickers and all of them the same kind of cars, basically. I saw the Outlaws as something really different and exciting.” All ORSCA races are run over an 1/8-mile distance, and alongside Outlaw 10.5, each event features Limited Street and EZ Street, as well as 6.0 and 7.0 index classes. Fenn sat down recently with DRO to discuss the series’ inaugural season, the challenges of becoming a race promoter, and where he envisions ORSCA heading in the future.

What made you decide to take the plunge and become a series promoter?

Fenn: Well, I had started going to races around the South when it was always one of these throw-a-race-this-weekend kind of outlaw deals and there was no conformity to it; there was no set way of doing things. It was exciting, and the fans loved it, but I just saw the bigger picture and thought it could be better and they could race at some nicer places. I was hoping I could let fans see what I saw when I first saw an Outlaw race. I was amazed—and they were only running 5.40s and 5.50s back then.

Now, 4.60s and 4.70s are standard issue at every race, so I knew that we had something here. And being in the South, I knew we had something else; we had the best of the best in Outlaw 10.5 here. Everybody in the country wants to run like these guys run. They race every week; they put their whole lives on hold for it. In business, you either have something that nobody else has, or you have something that everybody else wants, and that’s what made me do it. I honestly thought that I could make it better.

When did you seriously start thinking about putting ORSCA together?

Fenn: Last year I started really thinking about what we were doing and helping different tracks put on races. Then, I wanted to do a big, big extravaganza Outlaw show and I knew it would be totally successful. So I went around to tracks everywhere and talked to the owners, talking about an $80,000 Outlaw race and they thought I had lost my mind. Then I went and looked at Huntsville (AL) Dragway and met up with George Howard, and sat down and told him exactly what I wanted to do and why I thought it would work. And that’s when we did the Drag Racing Action (magazine) thing last year and it was without a doubt, the best Outlaw race in history—so far. Even after it got rained out and postponed, we had 64 Outlaw 10.5 cars, the fastest ones in the world. They came from everywhere: Texas, Canada, New York, Maryland, Florida, and of course from all the southern states, and they all came ready to race.

Was that race a financial success?

Fenn: It was a very big success. Everybody’s been trying to reproduce it since then, but it hasn’t happened.

Cover | Table of Contents | DROstore | Classifieds | Archive | Contact
Copyright 1999-2004, Drag Racing Online and Racing Net Source